Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Hot!

Edited to add: The free pattern for this hat is now available. Click here!

Hi Knitters,
I'm waiting for the giveaway contest to slow down on Spud says! You can still enter by the way. Click here to enter. It is still going strong. In the meantime, I finished up this hat for the next free pattern over there. The pattern will be available in a few days. The hat is made out of the Spud & Chloë fingering weight yarn called Fine. These are the two newest colors called, Red Hot and Shitake. The colors are like bread and butter or peanut butter and jelly or swim team and early morning practice. They just go together.
I had my 13-year-old daughter take a few quick photos. It was a comedy of errors. I had no make-up and hadn't brushed my hair. I see the hat was sitting a little crooked here (but it's still super cute).
She kept snapping when I wasn't ready.
In this shot she told me my hair looked like a beard. I told her that was what I was going for.

Anyway, you can see how cool the hat is and that's the main point. The hat is light as air on your head, red hot in color and is shaped sort of like a hot air balloon. Thus the name of the hat is going to be something combining those thoughts. Not sure yet.

Any suggestions?

I'll keep you posted on the pattern availability. It is a fun, quick summer knit you might love. Perfect for men, women, children, babies, and of course teens. I have a house full of those this summer. When you're done with the Red Hot version you can make another with the Shitake as the main color and the Red Hot for the stripes. Switcheroo for hat #2.

best, susie
p.s. My editor just let me know that his 96 year-old aunt ended his visit with her by muttering, "Je suis bushed." How funny is that? I can't stop laughing about that. I am stealing that line from Aunt Dorothy and will be using it liberally. Best. Ever.
p.p.s. I just stumbled on this really cool blog. You might like it, too. Click here to see.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Button Blues

Hi Knitters,
I stitched my buttons on my Garter Yoke Cardigan. I love sewing the buttons on a new cardigan. It's so much fun to see the sweater all buttoned up. I found these buttons at the Sow's Ear last weekend. The shop had exactly nine buttons for my nine buttonholes. I knew they were perfection. Look how they bring out all of the tiny turquoise flecks in the tweed. It's a happy choice.
The first sleeve work is coming along fine. Very soon it will be complete. Oh, how I am loving the sweater knitting. I just can't seem to get enough.

Good weekend wishes to you all!
best, susie
p.s. Spud & Chloë is now on Facebook. Come join me over there if you'd like! Click here!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Birthday Knit

Hi Knitters,
We are in the midst of our summer birthday celebrations. Both of my girls have summer birthdays that are two weeks apart. This makes for a few weeks of birthday parties, family gatherings and other whatnot surrounding their special days. It is fun but hectic.

TC loves the chocolate fever cake from Costco. It is a massive and dense chocolate cake that makes you wonder what you were thinking after taking a few bites. She loves every last chocolate shaving and frosted quadruple layer inside. Crazy kid. Crazier mom for buying it for her two years in a row. How can you deny that request?
This is my birthday knit progress shot. The sweater is the Garter Yoke Cardigan. I am actually finished with the body now, all bound off. I hadn't put the garter border on yet in these photos. I love it. It is turning out a little bigger than I thought but that's just fine with me.
The Peace Fleece wool tweed is pretty rough so this will be a layering cardigan for sure. I am glad it isn't tight fitting so I can wear shirts under it in the fall and winter. I picked out these fantastic blue buttons from the Sow's Ear last weekend. They are to die for. I will stitch them on and take the next progress shot before I start the sleeves.

Loving the sweater knitting! I have so many lined up you wouldn't believe it. Some using new yarn and some using very old stash yarn. The best of both worlds. Hey, we are sharing our sweater knitting over on the Itty-Bitty Knits Ravelry group this summer and we are joining the Tour de Fleece knitting adventure in a casual way. If you are interested come and join us. There is always so much going on in this fun group of knitters.

I have one sweater that I am anxious to start. It was just released last week and is called, Goodale. I ordered the yarn from Webs and already received it. The Pashmina by madelinetosh is divine. I picked the Norway Spruce colorway. Can't wait to get started.

The other sweater I am anxious to start is the Heather Hoodie Vest. I have had this one earmarked for quite awhile. I have a bunch of old Polar by Rowan (which has been discontinued) in a gorgeous chocolate brown that will be perfect for this pattern.

Another topic that is sweater-relevant is buttons. Here are some adorable fabric buttons I have been enjoying.

One last thing, here is some fabulous summery and fun fabric to check out. I love the one with the bicycles. That would make the cutest skirt.

Enough for now. See you soon.
best, susie

Monday, June 21, 2010

S'more Time

Hi Knitters,
I bought my husband a fire pit for Father's Day. They set it up in our backyard in not so much of a jiffy. Of course the assembly didn't go smoothly. A drill was dragged into the mix when the screw holes wouldn't line up. Assembly of anything never goes well around here.

We broke the new fire pit in with some borrowed firewood from friends, sticks from the yard, graham crackers, Hershey's chocolate bars and marshmallows. Yay for s'mores! My son cracked out some hotdogs for a weinie roast to boot. Why not?

It was a good way to end an incredible weekend. I even had a visit from my favorite Blue Sky/Spud & Chloë boss lady here in Madison. We had some serious fun together. I love it because she shares her upcoming new yarn ideas with me and it is always so inspiring. Can you imagine being able to think up new and gorgeous yarns and then being able to make them come to life? And then the color aspect of her work is incredibly intriguing to me. Her sense of color is spot on and fresh and new every single time. It's plain cool and it's fun to be around.

What did you all do? I'd love to hear.
best, susie

Friday, June 18, 2010


Hi Knitters,
First of all, Happy Father's Day! We are having a quick break in activities surrounding various fathers so I am going to post all fast and furious!
This is just a silly side note. I shared this top on twitter and facebook (come join me on both if you are interested, they are both really fun).

Anyway, I bought this top at Anthropologie a short while ago and have just started wearing it. It's all embroidered and cross-stitched and the straps have these little felt flowers stitched on. I am loving it. I thought you might enjoy it, too. It is so comfy.
On to the jack pot winner... well, soon. I want to share all of the fantastic goodies I've gathered up to send off. The box may look small but here is what's inside:
three Blue Sky Alpacas pattern cards for Brushed Suri Mitts, Cabled Mitts and the Olympic Hat...
two of my Spud & Chloë patterns for the Camp Hoodie and for the Three Brrrrr Bears....
my Blue Sky Alpacas pattern for Hop (This is a fantastic bunny knit in one piece, not one seam, from the toes to the tip of the ears. You should try this toy if you haven't. Click here to purchase:)....
a signed copy of Phoebe's Sweater, the featured item...
13 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic, one of my favorite baby hat knitting yarns ever...
from the left, one skein of golden Cascade 220 (no tag but brand new), 2 skeins of the luscious Spud & Chloë Sweater in Lipstick, and one skein of Noro Cash Iroha (a cashmere blend that's gorgeous)...

Note: By the way the Sweater yarn above doubled will make the correct gauge for Phoebe's Doll Sweater in the storybook and there is enough yardage.
from the top left, two skeins of Rowan Handknit Cotton in a sunny yellow, seven skeins of purple Rowan All Seasons Cotton (at least a baby sweater's worth), six more mixed skeins of the All Seasons Cotton, another baby knitting favorite of mine...
All together that's:
1 children's book with 3 patterns
6 patterns
13 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic
1 skein of Cascade 220
2 skeins of Spud & Chloë Sweater
1 skein of Cash Iroha
2 skeins Handknit Cotton (Rowan)
7 skeins purple All Seasons Cotton (Rowan)
6 more mixed skeins of All Seasons Cotton (Rowan)

9 patterns (including the storybook patterns) and 32 skeins of yarn! I told you I wouldn't hold back!

The winner is:

Blogger Maryjonono said...

Best wishes to your son as he prepares for college! Always a tough summer in our house, making that transition from high schooler to college kid!
I'd love a chance to win that book for my knitting daughter and her beautiful 12 day old son, Andrew! We all love you, Susan B. Anderson!
June 15, 2010

Congratulations to Maryjonono!!!!! Please contact me and send me your mailing address!
Have a great Father's Day everyone. I'll be back soon with more.
best, susie

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June Gifts

Please note: The giveaway is now CLOSED! June 20, 2010!!
Hi Knitters,
My oldest child graduated from high school this past weekend. That was an experience as a parent. It is overwhelming. He makes it all easy and comfortable by being a humble, appreciative and hardworking kid. He is so happy in his life and so thrilled about college next year. His happiness is contagious and that takes the sting of him growing older away a little bit.

He is my son, my buddy and my first.
Here is my Garter Yoke Cardigan progress. Love.
I keep some knitting at the ready in my favorite chair. The simple red garter stitch scarf is good for talking and knitting at the same time. The Garter Yoke Cardi is now at an easy place that is mindless as well. I just have to remember to put in the buttonholes as I go down the body. The Collector pulled out her fluffy pink blanket knitting and is working on that to keep me company. Her blanket is in the bag I sewed for her last summer in the corner there.
Ahhhh... this incredibly simple garter stitch scarf is inspired by a scarf I saw at Loop last spring. It was knit by Craig (the owner of the shop). It is knit in 2 skeins of Koigu sock yarn on size 3 needles. I started it on my way home from NYC. I cast on 40 stitches and knit away. I am on my second skein. It is so drapey already. Good stuff.
The author of the book above contacted me to see if I would like a copy of her new book, Phoebe's Sweater. Of course I said sure. It is a picture book written by Joanna Johnson and illustrated by her husband, Eric Johnson. What a talented couple. The story is about a mouse family and it is a very sweet tale.
Knitting is woven in the story as the mama mouse knits Phoebe a new sweater. It is a short story that includes knitting, seasons, family and a baby. That's all I'll say as I don't want to give too much detail away.
An incredibly nice touch is added at the end of the book. Several patterns are inlcuded in the book. The first pattern is for Phoebe's Sweater, then...
... the pattern for Phoebe Mouse...
... and finally, the pattern for the Phoebe Doll Sweater. The designs look cute and snuggly.
The book is a self-publishing venture which is always admirable. The company is called, Slate Falls Press and is out of Loveland, Colorado.

Here is the good thing! I have a signed copy to share with all of you. Please leave a comment on this post to win a copy of Phoebe's Sweater! Thank you to Joanna and Eric for sharing their wonderful book. I wish them loads of success.

I will be sweetening the prize pot with other goodies that have not been determined yet. I have lots of good stuff to give away and I won't hold back, I promise. I just need to look around and gather some goodies to throw in (yarn, patterns, more yarn, more patterns, etc.). When you leave your comment say hi or whatever you'd like, leave your name or ravelry id or your email address, some sort of identification. This makes it so much easier for me to get in touch with the winner.

You know the drill, right? One comment per person, check back to see if you win in a few days or so as I will randomly select one winner and then post about it right here!

Have fun and let the comments begin!
best, susie

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Garter Yoke Has Begun

Hi Knitters,
Fresh on my needles, the Olive Root Peace Fleece, to make the Garter Yoke Cardi. I even checked my gauge and made a swatch. I was spot on with my US size 7 needles.
I always forget how much I truly love a crunchy wool tweed until I work with one again. It's like no other. Rough and tumble wool. Look at all of those wonderful flecks of color against that rustic wool base. Heaven. This one may take me awhile to finish which is fine with me. I am enjoying the wool and it will be a good project to last me for a time.
I quickly whipped up another pair of Molly's Mittens for, well, Molly! Someone stole her original pair and she felt sick about it. I offered to make her another pair and have just gotten around to it. She wore her other pair everyday which I enjoyed seeing. Now she'll be all set for next fall and winter.
I have to say these are fun to knit and they work up at the speed of lightening. I made them on US size 10 needles on bulky wool yarn.

Happy Thursday to you, Knitters.
best, susie

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Final Shalom Love

Hi Knitters,
Briefly, I simply love my Shalom. I love everything about it including the knitting of it, the buttons, adding the sleeves and two additional buttonholes, the pattern and finally and mostly, wearing it.
Pattern: Shalom (It's free!)

The original pattern doesn't have sleeves so I looked around and found some sketchy ideas on how to best add sleeves in the notes here and here. I did a kind of combination of these two instructions. I knit this up for fun so I am not going to be writing out any further pattern instructions for my version of Shalom. It is refreshing for me to get to knit and not worry about pattern writing as I go. There are many, many modification instructions out there in Ravelry-land if you are interested in making and modifying a Shalom for yourself. Plus, it is fun to look around and see what people have done. Hop on the finished projects page to look. There are a mere 3,000 versions of Shalom to shuffle through.

I think this cardigan looks better with sleeves. In fact, I had seen it without the sleeves and wasn't interested in knitting it until I ran across a few of the sleeved versions. After I saw Shalom with sleeves I ran for my needles.

Next up sweater-wise for me:
Manu in Rowan Cashsoft DK in a deep pink that I've had forever and a day
I'm late to the game but am thinking about making this cardigan. I don't know the yarn yet.

Another sweater I have pulled out is the Cabled Blanket Coat by Sarah Dallas. I have a good start on this from a few years ago but then got sidetracked. I am about half finished. I found it tucked away in a bin the other day. I am knitting it in Rowan Scottish Tweed DK. I am still in love with this yarn and pattern.

My sweater collection needs an updated boost and with two brand-new fun sweaters (Shalom and the Tea Leaves Cardigan) I am well on my way to having an excellent new sweater wardrobe this coming fall.

I'll be back with a couple of giveaways soon. I have a lot of stuff and books to giveaway but I just need to find the time to organize and get it going. I have received 3 books in the last couple of weeks and some patterns and I always have yarn to give... so soon!

Have fun at TNNA this weekend if you are going. I won't be attending this one so I can't wait to hear all about it.
best, susie

Monday, June 07, 2010

First Harvest

Hi Knitters,
TC is pretty excited about her first homegrown strawberries. What pretty berries. She was going to eat two and give the last strawberry to her sister. Suddenly, as if beyond her control, she popped the third one in her mouth and started laughing. Oh well, how could she resist?
I've got some planting to do. I went with a sweet shell pink this year.
TC loves gardening and flowers. She picked all sorts of different varieties of flowers and vines and spikes and greenery. They were all in these separate containers which makes it hard to carry them around the yard. She had the idea to load them all up into her wagon. She is adding to her fairy garden big time this year. Last year we had construction going on so the yard was ripped up and muddy. This year is much calmer and she is taking advantage of it.

She has planted ferns all around her fairy house structure. Last night TC brought out all of her tiny ceramic fairies and placed them around in her fairy garden corner. She asked me to help her but really I just like to watch what she does. I let her take the lead for sure. It was cute. She has a story for each fairy and what she is doing which is why she places them in certain spots. It is fun. She has some of them hidden under leaves and ferns. I'll take pictures of her fairy corner to share with you as soon as she's set.
Our handmade life seeps out from our house right into our yard. In fact, we saved a cut stump from one of our big trees that was cut down last year. This summer we are going to sand, prime and then mosaic the top of the stump. It will go by her fairy house. She already has it planned out and I'm happy to follow her plan as directed.

What a fun age.
best, susie

Friday, June 04, 2010

Working It Out

Hi Knitters,
I have been knitting hard and long hours this week. I have a fun project going for Knit Simple magazine that I am incredibly excited about. I'll fill you in on the details when it gets closer to the release date. I can tell you that I am doing multiple projects for them, a sort of mini-collection and that I am pleased as punch with how it is turning out. It has been a bit more work than I bargained for which is usually the case. I think this go-round has been especially tough because of where I am in the book editing process, which is also demanding right now and with all of the family end of the school year obligations. It all ended up being due sort of at the same time. I tried to avoid the scheduling debacle but it didn't work.

Not complaining, just telling it like it is. I am happy to be doing all of it but I wish it could be spread out a little bit more over time.

Above is some Debbie Bliss yarn that I used for one of the magazine projects. It is lush and soft. The project has turned out great with the Debbie Bliss. It is a fun one. When you are doing projects for magazines they select the yarn for you and send it to you. It is a little different in that way. Renee Lorion is the yarn editor for Soho Publishing and she has a good eye. Plus she is fun and nice to work with. I am enjoying her. By the way, Knit Simple is in my top 3 knitting magazine selections. It is crisp, clean, do-able, offers loads of variety and it's just plain fun! I've heard from several knit shop owners when I was touring that it is their best-selling knitting magazine by far. It is accessible for every knitter and that's why it does so well.
Here is the yarn for another project for the magazine. I have another set of these same colors all wound and being used right now. I am almost done with this project and the yarn is very smooth and a little springy. It is Plymouth Select, 100% superwash fine merino. The colors are absolutely spot on for the project.
Here's my tried and true Spud & Chloë Sweater in Toast, Ice Cream and Watermelon. Isn't that about the sweetest color combo you've seen? The project is pretty sweet, too. That Watermelon colorway is about the best shade of pink I've ever worked with. I consider myself a pink connoisseur and it has just the right amount of rosy-ness for my liking. The project using this yarn is simple and quick. I think you will love it.
I literally have not had time to work on my Shalom for days and days but I thought I'd give you a brief progress report. I have one sleeve almost completed with just a few inches to go. I also added the last two brown buttons. This one is a winner for sure. I love wearing it and it isn't even finished yet.

Okay, next week I am having a giveaway so pop back for that. It is going to be a fun one.

Oh, and I found this interesting flower tutorial for the Mollie Flowers. I am dying to try it. The tutorial is different because it is done through photographs only, no text. Hmmm.... I haven't tried it yet but when I look through it I feel a little confused. I think when I am actually doing it along with the photos it may become clearer. Aren't those cute flowers? Edited to add: For some reason whenever I download the pdf the text is deleted but there is text that is supposed to be next to the photos. I have no idea why it isn't working for me. You may have better luck.

Lately, I have been experiencing the greatest urge to knit for fun. It is taking over my mind. When I go running all I can think about is what I am going to knit for fun next. I am living in a fantasy world that I will ever get to do all of the projects I am planning. One thing I am going to make for sure is the Citron shawl. I have a ton of yarn I could use for this so I am having fun trying to decide. I'll keep you posted when I get started. Maybe you'll want to join me?

The other project I am all set to make, with skeins wound and everything, is the Garter Yoke Sweater. I will do this after I finish the Shalom. This cardigan is the same designer who did the Tea Leaves Cardigan, Melissa LaBarre, that I loved making. I am making it in Peace Fleece that I have had sitting around for literally years. I saw that Soule Mama made her version in Peace Fleece and it turned out great. I have been snooping through Amanda Soule's favorites because I love everything she makes for herself and her kids. You should look, too, right here. She is pretty all-around awesome in every way.

Melissa LaBarre has a book of sweaters coming out in July, New England Knits. I am stalking amazon just waiting for its early release (fingers crossed). She is a genius and I'll be buying this book sight unseen.

Enough for now and back to work for me. Deadlines are just that, deadly. I will be working away the weekend and squeezing in some family fun, too. Hope you are doing the same without the working part.
best, susie
p.s. Did you catch my two new patterns? Here and here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Hi Knitters,
On Memorial Day we went to my sister's house for a cook out/multiple birthday party/graduation celebration. There are so many kids and so many things to celebrate right about now. We don't come close to all fitting around my sister's big dining room table so the other half of us spill over to the living room area on the couches and a card table and chairs. I love the glowing light from the old golden wallpaper and chandelier in that room. The kids glow and the room glows.
Here are a couple of the high school graduates, my son and his girlfriend.
We paid special attention to my nephew who turned 7 years old this weekend. He got to blow out the candles on the cake and have his name in the song. The other birthdays we celebrated were my nieces who turned 11, 16 and 20 years old. They didn't mind not having the song directed toward them.

My 16-year-old niece plays the happy birthday song on their grand piano to accompany our singing every time there is a birthday party. She plays at my house, too, when we celebrate here. I guess she is the designated birthday song piano player. My sister likes to launch into dramatic harmony for the birthday song which always makes me laugh. Too good.

My other nephew shouts, "Tell the truth!" after every "How old are you?" in the song. I love that.
We brought over a big bucket of water balloons to throw around. We also brought over extra balloons so when those ran out more could be made. The gang stood at the top of the terrace and launched the water balloons down to the lake front area where the younger kids were bouncing on the trampoline. It was pretty funny. They would count 1, 2, 3! Then throw all together. Lots of screaming followed every time.

The sun was going down.
My sister has a green thumb just like my mom. Her rosebushes are enormous masterpieces. She gave me her flower and garden tour which I love to do every summer. She grows tomatoes, peppers and onions and other veggies. The lakeside sun is perfect for this. She is a master entertainer/host/gardener. When you get to her house you never want to leave because she makes you feel so good. My sister is just like my mom, all comfortable and welcoming. Our family never has a formal affair, it is always casual fun at its best with family and friends everywhere you turn. The more the merrier is our motto.
Here you can see the lower tier of the terrace by the lake. I am looking down from the top where the water balloons were thrown from. A lot of time was spent out at the end of the pier where there are these great chairs that tip back so you can put your feet up. If I lived there I would sit and knit in one of these chairs and do some lake watching at the same time.
The rose-beast in bloom...
Of course, the main water balloon culprit was my 16-year-old son. He couldn't wait to get over to my sister's house. He loves it there. He kept asking what time we were heading over. He is the life of the party. The little kids always love him because he is so playful.
TC enjoying the water balloons and hose shower on the trampoline. She is in heaven.
It was a glowing, gorgeous night.
I love this little family.
best, susie